I had the immense honor and pleasure a bit ago of baptizing my mother-in-law. I’ll share the details of the day in a different post (one related to silly prayers), but I have to say..the feeling was incredible. The honor of being the one chosen to participate with the Holy Spirit is one that really is indescribable. It was my first baptism. And of course Satan beat me up before and after.
Before is for that other post. After? You know what he beat me up about after? Pictures. There wasn’t some glorious picture to be shared. No one was standing around snapping photos for social media fame.
Yes. I am ashamed to admit THAT is what the devil used to make me feel inadequate for that entire week after. The fact that I didn’t have anyone cheering this honor on with me. Well, in terms of social media likes, anyway.
The week wore on. I battled the devilish monster some more. Considered myself inadequate alongside the pictures of others’ “honors.” Until I considered this: I thought about the time Jesus walked along this earth. I considered Jesus’ baptism.
After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” Matthew 3:16-17, NLT
Jesus. Baptized. We still talk about this day. Yet, it was never posted on any social media platform.
Jesus. Performed a number of miracles. He healed a leper. He brought sight to a blind man. He raised a man from the dead. We still talk about these events that took place long before any camera was even thought of.
Does the absence of any form of physical evidence make these occurrences any less powerful? The witnesses to the events any less honored?
Which leaves me wondering: What would Jesus do with social media? Would he be worried about being “famous?” Loved? Wanted? Accepted? Getting “likes?” “Shares?” A thumbs up? Prior to helping the lady who had the bleeding condition, would he say, “Wait. Let me get a selfie?” Or would he be more worried about “being about his Father’s business;” sharing the message of truth, and his Father’s love?
I would like to think Jesus’ Insta page would not be filled with heavily filtered selfies, but words of the Father’s love. Messages of hope and compassion for those that desperately need to know about true love, mercy and grace. That his Facebook page would not be filled with only his happy moments, but he would be telling others of the 40 days he fasted, and was tempted by the devil, so others would be aware of his prowling. Yes, even his prowling around on their Facebook feeds. The ways in which social media can become our fuel for affirmation, and not the Lord.
Case in point:
I saw the much anticipated envelope waiting for me. I ripped into it with excitement, holding my breath, hoping it really was what I thought was inside. The final piece of confirmation I needed as proof that all the years of work I had put into this long journey had finally paid off. “Here it is!” I said to my husband, commenting that I needed a frame to place it in, so it could be displayed each year once it was renewed.
His response? “Don’t you want a picture? You know, to humble brag?”
Did I? Did I need one? If I didn’t post one for comments and likes, did it mean the time spent. The work put in. The effort. Did it mean it didn’t occur?
No, that’s not what it meant. It meant I didn’t need to post the picture to feel accomplished. I didn’t need to post the picture to feel honored. I didn’t need the likes to know I had made it.
Just like that baptism. It still occurred. Despite the lack of a picture. God was still witness to it. The Holy Spirit still showed up, even if social media never got to see it.
Perhaps you like to commemorate great moments to “celebrate” the milestones. That’s great. If that works for you. Wonderful. I do ask you take heed to one command from Paul as he writes to the church in Colossae: And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17, NLT
Perhaps you like to scroll through all the accomplishments of others, and you don’t feel the need to compare yours to theirs. I applaud you. I wish I had that willpower at times. I wish the devil didn’t know this is a deep insecurity of mine and didn’t use this to beat on me. If you are an encourager: So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.1 Thessalonians 5:11, NLT
Or perhaps we could all be more like Jesus, and just let our accomplishments, our works, our efforts speak for themselves. Knowing that even if no one ever took a picture, God is looking down from heaven saying, “This one, this one right here. That is one with whom I am well pleased. That one brings me so much joy!”